Senate GOP whip: Murkowski’s vote on Tanden is ‘fluid’ at the moment

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
Greg Nash

Senate GOP Whip John Thune (S.D.) said on Tuesday that Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) vote for Neera Tanden to become the White House budget chief is “fluid.”

“She obviously wants to get their attention on things that are important to her state. And she’s got, as any senator does, particularly through the nomination process, quite a bit of leverage,” Thune said, Politico reported, referring to Biden administration officials. “It’s been fluid.”

Thune added that Murkowski has “concerns about the economy in Alaska.”

“There are some policies that the administration has taken already that are very harmful to Alaska. And she’s trying to have a conversation with them about things they can do to help improve the economic outlook,” he said.

Murkowski is a key vote for Tanden, whom Biden nominated to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. Her hopes for confirmation were complicated when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he would not support it and Democrats have since been looking for a Republican vote in favor of Tanden’s confirmation in the evenly divided Senate. 

GOP senators, however, were angered by her sharp tone on Twitter as head of the Center for American Progress and tweets disparaging Republicans. Tanden has since apologized for the tweets.

Murkowski has been deliberating her vote for a week. She met with Tanden on Monday but said she had made no decision on her nomination.

“I met with her today. We had a sit-down meeting, which was good,” Murkowski told reporters.

A Washington Post reporter last month showed Murkowski a tweet in which Tanden attacked the senator in the past.

See, that goes to show how much homework I still have to do on her if I didn’t even know that she had sent out a tweet about me,” the senator responded.  

Tags Joe Manchin John Thune Lisa Murkowski Neera Tanden Tanden confirmation
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